MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. The Ethics Committee of the Russian Football Union (RFU) ruled on Tuesday to reprimand Spartak Moscow FC’s player Georgy Dzhikiya and also to impose a penalty of 20,000 rubles (over $350) on football club’s head of the public relations department Leonid Trakhtenberg over a recent video posted on the club’s social network account.
Spartak FC posted on its official Twitter account on January 13 a video filmed by club’s center-back Georgy Dzhikiya. The video showed the club’s Brazilian players practicing at a training base in Dubai and Dzhikiya captioned the video "chocolates melt in the sun."
A number of western media outlets viewed Spartak FC’s post on Twitter as racist and discriminatory. The football club later deleted the tweet and extended apologies to everyone who had been offended.
Semyon Andreyev, the head of the RFU Ethics Committee, told journalists that the committee "has been probing a very unusual case as such situations barely happen."
"We have summoned to the commission’s session Spartak’s lawyer and spokesperson, who told us what had happened, acknowledged their mistake that such Tweet should have never been posted," Andreyev said.
"In line with the Article 11 [nadmissibility of all discrimination manifestations] of the RFU regulations, we have ruled to reprimand footballer Dzhikiya and to impose a fine of 20,000 rubles on Trakhtenberg," Andreyev added.
Commenting on the incident, Spartak’s Brazilian left winger Pedro Rocha, who was also in the video at the issue, told TASS last week that there was no racism at all in the football club and it was not worth making media hype out of an innocent joke.
"This was simply an innocent joke. I see no sense at all inflaming the story of racism, which simply does not exist in Spartak," the 23-year-old Brazilian winger from Spartak FC said. "Our team is made up of jovial guys, who constantly make fun of each other. Those, who lack a sense of humor, should not be making a scandal out of it."